Literature is arguably the most vital of the major ideas, concerns, feelings, aspirations, and hopes of the communities out of which it comes. To know literature is, therefore, to be familiar with the communities that have produced it. To be familiar with communities is to understand how they resemble each other and how they differ from each other, that is, to understand the uniqueness of each. In a rapidly shrinking world this understanding becomes increasingly crucial and urgent as each community see itself, on the one hand, as part of a large human family and, on the other, as a unique cultural context.
Mediating between the community and literature is the artist who interprets facets of the life of the community in imaginative structures. These structures encompass the personal, social, and the universal; consequently, the study of literature helps us to understand both the individual and mankind in general. Nothing that is human is foreign to literature, as it participates with other disciplines in commenting on, clarifying and enhancing the human condition. To stud literature, therefore, is to understand how the human imagination, the creative faculty, works as it responds to experience.
Through its varied treatment of the facets of human experience, literature prepares individuals for living and working in the world. The study of literature provides the individual with analytic, organisational and communicative skills. These skills create career opportunities in a variety of fields, including the media, human resources management, corporate communications, advertising, and law.
The Caribbean is a complex historical, social, and cultural context, producing a rich and varied literature which ahs earned a crucial place in the global family of literatures in English. Consequently, that literature forms an important aspect of the study of Literatures in English for this Caribbean-based examination.